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No warning from Turkey, never crossed into its territory: Rescued Russian pilot

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Moscow: The second pilot of the downed Russian Su-24 warplane, who was rescued on Wednesday, has revealed that the Turkish F16s gave “no warning” before shooting down their jet.

The pilot also revealed that his plane did not cross into Turkey’s territory, as claimed by the latter.

“It’s impossible that we violated their airspace even for a second,” Konstantin Murakhtin told Russia’s Rossiya 1 channel.

“We were flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters in completely clear weather, and I had total control of our flight path throughout.”

The pilot was rescued “safe and sound” by Russian and Syrian forces and taken to Syria’s Hmeimim airbase, Xinhua reported.

The Russian Su-24 fighter jet was shot down on Tuesday by Turkey near the Turkish-Syria border.

Turkey claimed responsibility, saying the warplane had violated Turkish airspace and the move was “within engagement rules”.

Russia insisted the plane was in Syrian airspace on a mission to strike at the Islamic State targets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said S-300 anti-aircraft missile system would be deployed at Hmeimim airbase, where a Russian airforce group for anti-terrorist strikes is located.

Moskva guard missile cruiser of Russia is ready at new combat duty position near Syria’s Latakia “to destroy any potentially dangerous air targets,” Putin said.

Putin on Tuesday called the downing “a stab in the back delivered by accomplices of the terrorists”.

While, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday condemned Turkey for downing the warplane and warned of consequences.

“The recklessly criminal actions of the Turkish authorities would lead to three consequences,” an official statement quoted Medvedev as saying.

“First, the dangerous worsening of relations between Russia and NATO, which cannot be justified by any interests, including protection of state borders,” the prime minister said.

“Second, Turkey’s actions in fact demonstrated the protection of the militants of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group,” Medvedev said.

He said that there is “available information” about “direct financial interest” of some Turkish officials having a connection with enterprises held by the IS.

“Third, the long-standing good-neighbourly relations between Russia and Turkey, including in the economy and humanitarian spheres have been undermined,” Medvedev said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Russian Lawmakers Come Up In Support For Bill on ‘Sovereign’ Internet

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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The coat of arms of Russia is reflected in a laptop screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 12, 2019. Pixabay

Russian lawmakers backed tighter internet controls on Tuesday to defend against foreign meddling in draft legislation that critics warn could disrupt Russia’s internet and be used to stifle dissent.

The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament.

The bill seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

internet
The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament. Pixabay

The legislation was drafted in response to what its authors describe as an aggressive new U.S. national cybersecurity strategy passed last year.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.”

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has said the bill poses more of a risk to the functioning of the Russian internet segment than the alleged threats from foreign countries that the bill seeks to counter.

internet
The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.” Pixabay

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

The legislation, which can still be amended, but which is expected to pass, is part of a drive by officials to increase Russian “sovereignty” over its internet segment.

Also Read: Now Russian Telecom Watchdog To Direct Facebook, Twitter to Localise Users’ Database

Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services, and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.(VOA)